Time to step it up a bit

I’ve been making and selling my silver jewellery for a while now, and as much as I love being ‘in charge of my own destiny’ (that’s what #MrG calls it!!) one thing I realise I miss a little from my previous life is a target.

I’ve never been very respectful of a target that’s overly stretching, nor one that’s there for the sake of it, so I decided back in November that this year, I’d do a monthly project. I wasn’t sure what to do and didn’t find much that looked like it would strike the balance I wanted between stretching and achievable, but I’ve really enjoyed looking at #RingAMonth2019 over on Instagram.

This is running again for 2020, so I decided I’d give it a go, promising myself that I would try to keep true to my methodology (ie build and bodge, rather than carefully plan) and see what happens.

I’ll also write a small post about how I made each piece, which will also prompt me to keep up with the blog.

So. First topic up was GEOMETRIC

Initially I wanted to pierce a piece, and dome it, but yesterday, which was the day I had set aside for the challenge, I just wasn’t feeling like spending hours sawing, (nor, to be honest, am I convinced I’d manage something symmetrical, and I felt geometric called for exactness) so decided to make something that would test me nearly as much, but in a different area – soldering and precision filing.

Anyone who knows me, or who has commissioned me to make them something, knows I’m terrible at drawing, preferring to make a model whenever it’s an option, so I started with an old greetings card, cutting out some shapes, using trusty washi tape to assemble them and get the scaling right.

Then I sawed out the three rhomboids that form the truncated triangle, filing the inside edges to the correct angles for them to stack and solder.

I soldered them together using my honeycomb block and then filed and sanded and polished them smooth. At this point I changed my plan and didn’t opt for an oval base, but another triangle, so the ring is a star. This base plate was created by reticulating the sterling (repeated heating, to deplete the copper from the upper layer of the silver, and finally melting that top layer to give this earthy texture)

I sawed and soldered that to the base, and then made the shank, using a double band of 2mm sterling wire.

I’ve promised myself that I will try and make each ring to a size other than my own (I wonder how long that will last!) so I made this to a UK size L ( Europe 51, USA 5.75), and after polishing, sent it off for a tumble in Betty-The-Barrel-Polisher.

I’m exceptionally pleased with how it turned out, and am keen to repeat it – I thought that to make the challenge more interesting and personal, I’ll try and repeat each design as either a brooch / pin or pendant. If I then think that they are good enough to leave the house, I’ll list them for sale as unique, one off statement pieces in my new website – which is almost ready to launch (that’s my other challenge this year)

Here are some photos of the finished ring. I’ll have a video of it on Instagram

About DawnGillDesigns

Finally able to make stuff and get paid for it!!! How cool is this?! Find me and my shinies on www.DawnGillDesigns.com and as @DawnGillDesigns on social media
This entry was posted in #HandmadeHour, Challenge, DGDCheeryUppy, geek, Meet The Maker, processes, RingAMonth, Ring a month, RingAMonth2020, silver, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Time to step it up a bit

  1. dvberkom says:

    Happy New Year, Dawn! (and Mr. G!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. katechiconi says:

    Lovely! I love the grainy texture of the surface, and the clean whiteness of the silver. Would you consider make a pair of stud or drop earrings in the same design, rather than a brooch or pendant? I think stars on the earlobes or against the hair would look very pretty.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My default is ALWAYS earrings , because I love earrings, and making them is my happy place – so I’m trying to push my boundaries a little, with creating designs that are suitable for other things too. If I manage the brooch and pendant successfully, I might permit myself earrings (but I’d need to use thinner sheet to ensure they are light enough to be properly comfy) Thanks very much for your kind comments and suggestions – and please do keep any suggestions coming 😉


  3. Joanne S says:

    I love the idea of a paper model. I am very visual, so to me it would be a clearer, cleaner picture of the proposed piece. I await your “ring a month” posts! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. tialys says:

    Clever idea to make a model – my drawing is terrible too so I’d have to do something similar.
    I sympathise with your attempts to make things in different sizes other than your own. Not the same thing really but I started to make clothing for babies and toddlers at one time but only made each thing in one size and we all know how quickly babies and children grow. So, when people asked me for a different size I either didn’t have any more of the fabric left or just didn’t want to repeat the same design. Not a great business plan which is why I don’t do it anymore and was glad when my niece had a baby so I could pass them on to her.
    I like Kate’s ideas of stud earrings for your 3D design.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thanks – and that’s the advantage of jewellery – I qualified as a bookbinder, and those items took far longer to make, (I’d never manage knitting or sewing clothing), the rush from finishing a piece of jewellery is just as good, and takes far less time!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I like the idea of committing to a once a month project – on my 5th year of doing so – it is surprising what can develop over time. Like you and Kate, I’m an earring person. Love your star, a different star every month??

    Liked by 1 person

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